Hotel review: The Wellington, Bristol

{ Posted on by }
Categories : Travel news

It's not a hip brewery, like Kernel, or a boldly creative one, like Brewdog, but with its slick packaged beers and modern pubs, Bath Ales is reinventing the role traditionally played by mid-sized regional breweries. It is populist and growing fast, but without becoming staid. It recently opened Beerd, a very on-trend craft beer bar in Bristol (worth the trek up St Michael's Hill,, and, just out of town, in Horfield, has launched its first "boutique-style" accommodation at the Wellington.

A big red-brick pub at the top of busy Gloucester Road, the Welly isn't far from both the Memorial Stadium, home to Bristol Rovers football club and Bristol Rugby, and Gloucestershire County Cricket club. On match days, expect to share the pub – a mix of trad boozer and slouchy, sofa-strewn lounge – with their respective fans. It is also a bustling community hub. On the sunny midweek night that I visited, drinkers and diners were spilling out on to a large patio, complete with children's play area.

If that doesn't scream boutique destination, fear not. The eight bedrooms are a stylish step-up, and a world apart, thanks to some remarkably effective sound insulation. However, unfortunately, in July, this was preventing the Wi-Fi signal reaching the bedrooms. They're working on it.

If style-wise those rooms are predictable – the obligatory use of designer wallpaper; a shades-of-mushroom colour scheme – it's been done with a good eye. The minimalist furniture cuts a dash. The bathrooms, with their brick-effect tiles and handsome white suites, neatly mix retro-styled and modern fixtures.

Clutter-free, the rooms have been thoughtfully pared back to deliver quality essentials. In mine, there is no wardrobe. Instead, wooden pegs run along one wall, complete with proper wooden hangers. This allows space for a huge bed dressed with 100% cotton sheets. There is a full-length mirror (a rarity, bizarrely), a separate bath/shower and rainfall shower cubicle (so two people can get ready at once); and, on the tea-tray, foil-packed quality coffee. Weirdly, though, there are no biscuits, and fresh milk – as opposed to UHT – is only supplied on request. Why?

Downstairs, a pint of lemony, melony Summer's Hare in hand (the pick of the Bath Ales sampled; pint from ?3.05), it was time to tackle the short, pubby menu. Unsurprisingly, it emphasises local suppliers. Prices are keen – around ?5 for starters, ?9 mains. A ham-hock terrine, long on flavour, presented with good bread, chutney, cornichon and a mustard-dressed rocket salad, was the pick. The burger was enjoyable, but, for my tastes, too finely ground, spongy almost. A cinnamon-spiked apple crumble was hobbled by a rather chunky, chewy topping. Breakfast maintained the reasonably good standard, but the price, an additional ?10 per person, left a bad taste. And I wasn't even paying.

• Cross Country ( provided travel between Manchester and Bristol

Related posts

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed at this time.